Go to contents

Intelligence Report Sheds Light on Kim Dae-jung Kidnapping

Intelligence Report Sheds Light on Kim Dae-jung Kidnapping

Posted October. 25, 2007 03:19,   


The National Intelligence Service Development Committee for Clarifying the Past, established in November 2004, published its final report yesterday.

The committee’s work covered the kidnapping of former president Kim Dae-jung; the bombing of KAL Flight 858; incidents involving the People’s Revolutionary Party and the Federation of Democratic Students; the Dongbaekrim spy ring incident; the disappearance of former director of the Central Intelligence Agency of South Korea Kim Hyeong-uk; the forcible donations of the Buil Scholarship Foundation; the forcible disposal of the Kyunghyang daily; and the incident involving the Chosun Workers’ Party’s regional branch.

The reports concluded that although the committee was not able to find evidence that directly showed the involvement of former president Park Chung-hee in the Kim Dae-jung kidnapping, circumstantial evidence, including testimonies of parties involved, convinced the committee of the direct/ indirect involvement of Park in the kidnapping.

The committee presents as evidence three facts: Park did not punish those involved in the kidnapping; Park sent then Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil to Japan after Kim was abducted to handle the matter; then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Lee Hu-rak said to his subordinates, “It was not my desire to kidnap Kim Dae-jung.”

The committee confirmed that the kidnapping was led by the Central Intelligence Agency after the ‘KT Project Plan’ containing the agency’s kidnapping plan was found.

The committee also states, “The Japanese government was aware of the involvement of the Korean government in the kidnapping, yet at the request of the Korean government, it cooperated to handle the incident diplomatically. The Korean and Japanese governments share responsibility for the cover-up.”

The committee said that it was unable to further investigate the KAL 858 bombing after Kim Hyeon-hee since the principal offender refused requests for an interview ten times. The committee only confirmed that the bombing was a ‘North Korean operation’ without clearing suspicion over the involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency, the possibility of the bombing being used for political purposes, or what Kim Hyeon-hee actually did.

Choi Gyeong-hwan, press secretary for Kim Dae-jung, said, “We will wait until the truth is completely revealed. The committee deserves credit for its work. Yet it is regrettable as the committee shows hesitance in making a definite conclusion about the involvement of Park in the kidnapping, even though it has found evidence showing that Park gave the orders to kidnap Kim, and his motives.”

Park Geun-hye, former leader of the Grand National Party and the daughter of Park Chung-hee, did not made any particular response to the committee’s report, said a person close to her. Yet some close associates of her reacted strongly against the report, saying the report was, “A distortion of history based on speculation.”

Cheon Ho-seon, spokesman of Cheong Wa Dae, said in a briefing, “It is regrettable to know that these kinds of things happened in the past. Yet it is not appropriate for Cheong Wa Dae to comment on the details of the committee’s report.”

The Japanese government said, “The kidnapping of Kim is regrettable in that the incident involved the Korean government’s exercise of its power in Japanese territory that was tantamount to a violation of Japan’s sovereignty,” and demanded the Korean government to apologize to Japan and make sure that this would not happen again.